A Complete Guide to Washing Towels: Dos and Don'ts Skip to content

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A Complete Guide to Washing Towels: Dos and Don'ts

Have you ever taken a shower, reached out for a towel, and been greeted with a musty smell or a less-than-soft feel? If so, then it's time to refine your towel washing practices. In today's blog post, we'll guide you through the dos and don'ts of washing towels.

Importance of Properly Washing Towels

Towels are an essential part of our daily lives, catering to our personal hygiene and comfort needs. The importance of properly washing towels cannot be overlooked. Regularly used towels, whether it's bath towel, hand towel, washcloth and other, are exposed to a plethora of bacteria, skin cells, oils, and sometimes even fungi, which can proliferate if not effectively cleaned. Over time, these towels can become a breeding ground for germs, resulting in unpleasant odors and posing potential health risks. Hence, it's crucial to wash towels properly, using the right temperature, detergent, and washing frequency to maintain their cleanliness, hygiene, and lifespan. In doing so, you not only secure your health and that of your family, but also contribute to a more sanitary environment.

Dos of Washing Towels

Do Wash New Towels Before Use

You might be surprised, but new towels aren't ready to use right out of the package. Manufacturers often coat towels with a chemical finish that makes them look fluffier and more appealing on the store shelf. This finish, however, can reduce absorbency. So, it's best to wash your new towels before their first use to get rid of these coatings.

Do Separate Towels From Regular Clothes

Towels are heavy and can cause damage to lightweight or delicate clothing. They also produce a lot of lint, which can stick to other types of clothing. For best results, wash towels with other towels or heavier items like bathrobes and bedsheets.

Do Use Warm Water

Warm water helps to better dissolve and remove dirt, body oils, and bacteria that may be living on your towels. While it's not always necessary to use hot water, washing towels in warm water helps to achieve a thorough clean.

Do Use the Right Amount of Detergent

Too much detergent can leave a residue on your towels, making them less absorbent and feeling stiff. Check the detergent's instructions and make sure to use the right amount for the size of the load.

Don'ts of Washing Towels

Don't Use Too Much Fabric Softener

Fabric softener can make towels feel soft, but it also leaves a waxy residue that reduces a towel's absorbency. Use fabric softener sparingly, or consider natural alternatives such as white vinegar, which can soften towels and eliminate odors without reducing absorbency.

Don't Overload Your Washing Machine

Overloading your washing machine can lead to less effective washing as the towels won't have enough room to agitate properly. Aim to fill about three-quarters of the machine – your towels need room to move and rub against each other, which helps with the cleaning process.

Don't Leave Wet Towels in the Washer

Leaving wet towels in the washer can cause a musty smell and promote bacteria growth. As soon as the wash cycle is complete, transfer your towels to the dryer or hang them out to dry immediately.

Don't Iron Your Towels

While it might be tempting to iron your towels for a crisp look, the heat from the iron can damage the towel’s fibers, reducing its absorbency. Towels are meant to be fluffy, so allow them to air dry for that natural, soft feel.

Right Way to Dry Your Towels

Finally, how you dry your towels matters as much as how you wash them. Here are some quick tips:

Shake Out Your Towels: After washing, give your towels a good shake to fluff up the terry loops that aid in drying.

Go Easy on the Heat: High heat can damage the towel fibers. Opt for a lower heat setting, or better yet, air dry your towels when possible.

Don’t Iron Towels: Ironing can break down the fibers and reduce absorbency. If your towels are wrinkled, a quick fluff in the dryer should do the trick.


Washing towels correctly is a simple task, but it's one that can significantly impact their lifespan and your health. By following these dos and don’ts, you can extend the lifespan of your towels, enhance their absorbency, and make every post-shower wrap-up a luxurious experience. So the next time you're about to toss your towels into the wash, take a moment to remember these tips.

Kinton Crafts is a premier destination for those seeking exquisite home decor, home & bath linen, and furniture products. With a commitment to quality and aesthetics, Kinton Crafts offers a wide range of carefully curated items that elevate the ambiance of any living space.


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